When I’m asked to officiate a wedding, I tell couples the focus needs to be on their marriage rather than on the wedding day. Most agree with me; however, most of their energy continues to be given to the day rather than on their marriage. Sometimes it feels like a losing battle given the power of Pinterest and the multiple DIY project blogs. On the one hand I’m impressed with the amount of effort given to create a sacred and individualistic ceremony and reception; on the other hand, I know the moment will come when a couple needs to be prepared for marriage. Every couple quickly comes to the realization that it’s more than one day, especially when the stress of getting everything done for the day catches up with the couple.
It seems to me the same is true for Christmas. It’s more than a day. Yet. There’s a tendency to spend a great deal of time and money to “get ready” for Christmas. But. When the day is done, the stress and busyness of the holidays create a path to exhaustion, making the pre-holiday routine seem better than good. I have a long list of friends and family who silence anyone who dares to talk about the holidays or attempts to play Christmas music outside of the season. It has all become so overdone that they can’t wait to be done.
I will admit, I am a fan of Christmas celebration. Actually I am a believer of celebrating any occasion. I’m all about the party.
But. At the end of the day, both the Wedding Day and Christmas Day are about love. The Voice defines how the reality of God’s love is to be understood in the book of Ephesians, chapter 3, verses 18-19
” . . . with all of Your people they will have the power to understand that the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep, surpassing everything anyone previously experienced. God, may Your fullness flood through their entire beings.”
Christmas tells the story of uncontainable-ongoing love, giving reason to celebrate every day.
Today . . . light the candle symbolizing hope and light the candle symbolizing love . . . tell the story of Love coming to earth.
FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Our family celebrations have changed over the years, however, we have some epic Christmas stories.
The story of the firetruck lives on 24 years later–when there were only four grandchildren–Tricia, Tiffany, Tim and Geoff. Christmas morning was all about spoiling them. But. This particular Christmas–the only one–my mom and dad messed up.
Epic: 1990 Carlisle Christmas
The infamous firetruck . . . ignited a struggle . . . and defined the day.
Apparently Tim had a change of clothes while we opened presents.
I now see my grandparents from such a different perspective and still miss them like crazy. Apparently, blue was our go-to for Grandpa Jones.
And. I love my young-happening sister’s sweater. I always thought of her as so trendy.
I wonder if Geoff’s students in Texas would like to see his cowboy hat and hiked up pants? I love his sweet look at Tim. I wonder, was that before they went at each other? Their fights were legend–affirming their lifelong love for one another.
My dad looks exhausted. In those days, I did not think about my parents’ expended energy during Christmas. Wasn’t it their responsibility?
I love my grandparents’ expression as they are drinking coffee and enjoying it all.
Seriously, my sister has always been the “cool” young auntie. So. I assure you the hair and sweater helped her maintain the “cool” status.
My three loves in our kitchen posing for our 1990 Christmas letter . . . well, actually . . . it ended up being a New Years letter. The picture says it all.
We will be taking our family picture again this year–the celebration is about love–for God and one another.
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2014 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)